Robots– -and the minds behind them —took this competition to the next level.

“His name is bender and he is an elevator lift robot with a chain connected at different points to make it raise up simultaneously and go straight up so it doesn’t go up at an angle,” said Haslett VEX Minotaur competitor Qian Bates.

59 middle school and high school teams from across the state put their robots to the test in the largest state finals Michigan State University has ever hosted.

“Theres an autonomy section where you program your robot to do something and then there’s the driver part where you actually drive the robots,” said MSU Dean of Engineering Leo Kempel.

Teams also compete in sky rise— where their robot races with other robots to see who can stack the most blocks.

“It can reach the small post the medium post and the tall post.”

Michigan has one of the highest qualification rates for robotics competitions in the country— and Kempel hopes these young minds can someday engineer a better Michigan.

“They’re the future for mid-michigan we’re going to be a technologically driven society and the kids out here are going to be the ones making those changes that we’re all going to enjoy for the next 20 30 years,” said Kempel.

But for these kids— building robots is just what they do.

“We never was the basketball players or the cheerleaders we always were the robotics,” said VEX Knights Dariel Dick.

Teams that win today will go to the world finals in Kentucky.

Haslett’s VEX Raptors will be one of the teams going to the world finals along with the Haslett VEX Dragons.